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Top 20 Reads of 2020

Top 20 Reads of 2020

Its the end of the year in case you hadn't noticed. If like me, you have also forgotten what day, week and time it is then let me remind you that it is the end of the year. This year has been great for books and reading for me, I've read some incredible books by some of my favourite authors. I've had the privilege to read arcs from netgalley and I've read some cracking debuts and old favourites. Overall I've read 55 books this year and out of that amount I've compiled a list of my favourite 20. This is not to say that the other books I have read this year that aren't in this list are terrible or bad. No dear reader, I have enjoyed every book I have read this year. You see this is a list of the type of stories that have stayed with me. It was originally meant to be a list of 10 but I found that too hard and tried 15 but then added five more so now its a list of my top 20.

So grab yourself a cuppa (or wine) and sit back.

20. Killing Floor by Lee Child. (pub.1997, Putnam)

This was my first ever Jack Reacher book and its not usually my go to genre but with that in mind I loved the plot, the way the story flowed and overall I understood why Lee Child's series is widely known. If you are yet to pick up a Reacher story then this is the start of the collection and a strong, engaging and thrill of a book.

19. Pine by Francine Toon. (pub 2020, Black Swan Ireland)

A debut novel by Scottish writer Toon, this book was also not my go to but there was something about the blurb and story that kept me coming back for more. Its a slow burn thriller with a lot of atmospheric writing (is that the right word?) Centred around young Lauren, who's mother's disappearance years before and the secrets of the small town come to head after the disappearance of a local teenager. If you like mystery and suspense then this is a book worth looking at.

18. What Are Friends For? by Lizzie O'Hagan. (pub. 2020, Headline Review)

Another debut novel that I absolutely adored! A London, modern-day romcom about two people who attempt to help there friends find love on a dating website. Its a story full of misunderstandings, love, and friendship which is a great read if you like Mhairi McFarlane's books.

17. The Neighbours by Nicola Gill. (pub 2020, Avon)

A stunning debut from Nicola Gill who's writing is fresh, funny and so relatable and this book is just perfection. Its pure joy and follows the lives of a out of work actress and her heartbroken young neighbour who she employs to be her publicist, the two of them sparking an unlikely friendship.

16. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. (pub. 2012, Penguin)

I know I was late to the party of Lou Clark, I'd seen the film but not read the book and just as I predicted, the book is so much better than the film with lots more background into the individual characters which made me love Lou even more and yes, it made me cry. Any book that makes me cry is automatically my favourite.

15. Beach Read by Emily Henry (pub. 2020, Penguin)

I saw this book everywhere on Twitter when it came out and it is such a good read! Its sexy, funny and romantic. Its pure escapism with an engaging story line that kept me hooked. It follows rival writers Gus and January who become neighbours over the summer and challenge one another to write a book in a different genre to what they usually write.

14. Just Friends by Holly McCulloch. (pub. 2020, Transworld Digital)

This debut took my breath away, by that I mean I was laughing that much I was gasping for air. Its an incredible debut that follows Bea who throws herself into the dating scene whilst questioning whether her oldest friend Peter (think Criminal Minds, Reid) could be the one.

13. The Day We Meet Again by Miranda Dickinson (pub. 2019, HQ)

My first Dickinson novel and it was so so so so perfect!!!!!! Not only is it full of love, loss and friendship but its also a story about the journey of Sam and Phoebe who meet at the train station, both going different ways and there journey back to one another, exactly a year later. Only when they meet again, will they still be in love or was it just a fluke? Heartbreakingly good!

12. The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper. (pub. 2018, Headline Review)

This was Cooper'd debut novel that I didn't read until this year and oh my god!!!! It was so unexpected, Cooper's writing is straight from the heart and made me laugh, weep and cry my eyes out at three in the morning when I finished it. Its a brilliant read if you love P.S I Love You.

11. Heartstopper vol. 3 by Alice Oseman. (pub. 2020, Hodder Children's Fiction)

One of my favourite graphic books EVER!!!! Like seriously this is such an amazing book that I wished was a book I had grown up with as a child! It deals with sexuality in youth, eating disorders and relationships in a way that is so simple yet brilliant. If you haven't read any of them yet, please do because I am honestly in awe of them.

10. The Switch by Beth O'Leary. (pub. 2020, Quercus)

Second novel by O'Leary, I loved Flatshare and The Switch is brilliant, if not better than her debut. It follows Leena and her grandmother, Eileen, the two decide to swap houses with Leena going to live in the Yorkshire Dales while Eileen goes to London in search for romance. Madness, laughter and drama ensues and I can promise that by the end of it you'll be completely Eileened!

9. Hello, Again by Isabelle Broom. (pub. 2020, Hodder & Stoughton)

I love Isabelle Broom's books and this is no exception. Its beautiful, heartbreaking and just the loveliest of books. I loved Pepper's character, an artist who is struggling to know her worth and a holiday of a lifetime with her friend, Josephine. Pepper meets a very handsome German and while on holiday romance blossoms but when the miles are put between them will it make or break them?

8. It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell. (pub. 2020, Headline Review)

Jill Mansell will always be my go to author, her books have always lifted my spirits and given me pure escapism from the world. Just like many of her other novels you can expect romance, family drama, secrets and unexpected revelations. Need a sunny escape? Then this is the book for you.

7. The Guest List by Lucy Foley. (pub. 2020, HarperFiction)

Just astonishing. Foley is the modern day Agatha Christie with her thriller mysteries and is an author I cannot wait to read more from. If you liked The Hunting Party, you will LOVE The Guest List. Its far more sinister, far more shocking and is one of the best books I've read.

6. If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. (pub.2020, HarperCollins)

Fake relationship for lawyers, Jamie and Laurie turns the heat up in McFarlane's latest novel. The writing is amazing as usual and the story line is full of heart with Laurie being a black woman in a man's world at work. Laurie is strong, smart and witty she is a cracking heroine.

5. Riders by Jilly Cooper. (Originally pub. 1985. Repub. 2015, Corgi)

My first time ever reading Jilly Cooper and it was one of the most memorable books I've read this year, its also one hell of a roller-coaster of a book I found, and if you wish to hear more I wrote a running commentary (full of spoilers) on my blog. Anyway, overall, I can understand why Jilly Cooper is such a beloved writer after reading Riders. It was just exceptional.

4. Saving Missy by Beth Morrey. (pub. 2020, HarperCollins)

Another incredible debut that will break your heart and put it back together again. It's just a wonderful book with lots of themes and issues of love, loss, grief, relationships and secrets. If you haven't discovered Saving Missy yet I strongly recommend it.

3. Meet Me At Pebble Beach by Bella Osborne. (pub. 2020, Avon)

I read this book months ago and I still think about it. The whole story was honestly so perfect, I believe its one of Osborne's best and if you like Jill Mansell and Trisha Ashley you should really add Osborne's books to your list.

2. Pretending by Holly Bourne. (pub. 2020, Hodder & Stoughton)

Hands down one of the most powerful, most needed and exceptionally well written books I've read this year and I know I've said that a lot about the books on this list but my word this is a book that deals with so many issues and struggles of many women in the world we live in.

1. The Shelf by Helly Acton. (pub. 2020, Zaffre)

I loved this book so much. It was just so brilliant in every way. Following the lives of six women who find themselves on a new reality show for a month after they are all dumped by there partners. The story isn't about the women finding love with a man but instead, it's about learning to love yourself and make your own path in the world rather than depend on a relationship to make you happy. Its a reminder that we as beings shouldn't feel pressured by our friends in relationships or having babies, we should make our own happiness.

Have you read any of these books?

I've loved this year of books, overall they have brought me happiness, given me pleasure, taught me lessons and opened my eyes to possibilities and dreams. I have learnt a lot about myself this year with spending most of my time alone, I've experienced a lot of heartache and a lot of highs this year which is nothing unusual but books have been there to help me through it. It might sound strange to a lot of people but the one thing I have learnt is that books have the ability to transport you anywhere and give you something to look forward too. I'm at the age of 20 and I feel like the books I've read have given me ideas, dreams, and through the lives I've read, I don't feel alone at all. Authors, you guys are amazing, you give us readers hope in the darkest of times, you give us light and for that thank you, thank you for sharing your stories with us. I'd be truly lost without your words.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope, wish you well and all the happiness in the world.

Thank you.

After all tomorrow is another day spent reading,

Till next time,

Phoebe x

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